Connections—we all know that connections in life are a good thing. From a young age, we hope to connect with our fellow classmates and have someone to sit with at the lunch table. Later, we learn how to network and make connections among alumni of our university for internship and job opportunities. Working at brand experience design firm, KA+A, connectivity has taken on an entirely new meaning for me.
KA+A has had a long-standing partnership with innovative technology company, Exact Target. As the official design partner of Exact Target for Connections—the world’s premiere digital marketing conference—I knew I was in for a technological treat. KA+A designed the keynote presentations that Exact Target leadership used to present. Working with my boss & Director of Accounts for KA+A, our role at the conference was to connect with potential new clients and explain KA+A’s service delivery.
The conference featured 4 days of inspiring keynotes, exciting product demos, and educational breakout sessions. Below are some of the highlights of the conference and my involvement as a first-year Orr Fellow.
As an account representative for KA+A, most of my time was spent at our uniquely designed booth talking to potential clients. Our designers created a digital landscape that included a starry sky lit with Pinterest & Twitter stars, as well as a cargo ship carrying various social media cargo such as Facebook and YouTube (as shown left).
Beyond the booth, the common theme that all the top marketing executives stressed was the future of marketing technology and a focus on creating personalized, 1:1 customer journeys. Different case studies from multinational brands were used to illustrate this point such as FitBit, LiveNation, McDonald's, & Diesel jeans. In addition to brands, a handful of celebrities also made an appearance. Entrepreneur, musician, and philanthropist, will.i.am did a fireside chat with salesforce.com Chairman and CEO, Marc Benioff. will.i.am discussed the involvement of technology in the music industry and how celebrities have the ability to influence pop culture in this arena. He introduced a new product he is designing that goes beyond a smartwatch; he describes it as a computer on your wrist.
Later that evening, I had the opportunity to attend the live music festival hosted at Lucas Oil Stadium featuring The Script, and will.i.am (yes they played Hall of Fame together). will.i.am revealed his new technology on stage and DJed using his new wrist technology instead of a computer.
The final day of the conference featured bestselling author & video blogger, John Green, and acclaimed actress and bestselling author Mindy Kaling. Both celebrities humorously discussed their personal journeys and interaction with social media.
Though the keynote speakers and topics were amazing, some of the best time was spent connecting with the KA+A team. Below is a humorous group photo taken together at the photo booth (I am the blonde girl in the pink cowgirl hat with the wand). Like the slogan for the conference, The Journey is the Reward, Connections 2014 was a whirlwind of marketing education, hard work, and fun.